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Computers, Phones & Internet / Help with this STUPID computer!


Subject:  Re: Yet another Java flaw Date:  10/2/2012  8:59 PM
Author:  mmrmnhrm Number:  182040 of 194655

I suppose it's not much different at all. But it is different from, say, installing Office or a game or some utility. With those, you know you're installing a program and have some idea of who wrote it and, presumably, you trust them. With these web-based programs, you have no idea what's going on. (Although doesn't ASP run on the server side and not on the client computer?) You're turning over your computer to some unknown programmer. And you may not even realize that you're doing so.
The only difference, in this context, is that a program like Office requires you to consciously go to a store (whether it's brick-and-mortar or an online e-store doesn't really matter) and install it, while a Java program is often automatically executed by the browser without bothering to ask the user first (because, y'know, if they didn't want the program, they wouldn't have come to the website, amiright?). This isn't really the user's fault, but rather the browser's for just running any executable that it happens to encounter along the way. A user can cause just as much damage to their system by opening a malicious Word document as they can by running a Java program. The only difference is that with Word, there's the added step of "Please download and mail this file to begin your warranty claim" (or whatever reason-du-jour provided by the phishing email is).